FSC steps up monitoring of Alliance Investment ManagementSaturday, December 04, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Financial Services Commission (FSC) has announced that it has taken steps to enhance its monitoring and supervision of Alliance Investment Management Limited (AIML).
The FSC said the move is to ensure that the interests of all AIML's clients remain protected while highlighting that it is aware of “recent developments whereby the Financial Investigations Division (FID) has brought charges against AIML for failing to file reports to the designated authority".
This failure meant that AIML was in contravention of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering Prevention) Regulations, 2007 the FSC said.
The FSC, in a brief statement, noted that AIML is a licensed securities dealer which it regulates.
Meanwhile, the attorney for Alliance Financial Services Limited (AFSL), Queen's Counsel Tom Tavares-Finson, is urging regulators of the financial system and the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to reconsider the decision to immediately pull the plug on the AFSL's license to operate as a cambio and remittance business.
"The fact of the matter is my clients have been working with the BOJ for some time to resolve matters which are now in the public domain. The BOJ was fully aware of the concerns about some transactions which date as far back as 2009 and they were also fully in the know about steps taken to address the concerns. Therefore, the sudden licence suspension and the move to effectively severely restrict Alliance's ability to conduct business is a bit curious," Tavares-Finson said in a statement on Saturday.
"I am really calling for the BOJ and the regulators of the financial system to reconsider its decision to restrict Alliance from performing its core business, even as dialogue continues about how to treat with concerns about alleged historic breaches across the sector. Additionally, there has to be some presumption of innocence here, that's a trite principle which should inform actions in relation to this and any legal matter where allegations are made," the attorney added.
The call from Tavares-Finsoncomes as major fallout appears to be looming in the financial sector following the decision to immediately suspend Alliance's license.
The decision means there's uncertainty about the jobs of nearly 500 employees of Alliance's MoneyGram agents across the island. Nearly 70 of Alliance's employees are also uneasy following the decision by the BOJ to prohibit the company carrying out some of its key business activities.
AFSL was yesterday suspended from operating as a cambio and remittance business, effective immediately. According to the BOJ, in a statement yesterday, it has also revoked AFSL's authorisation to operate in the BOJ Fintech regulatory sandbox.
The BOJ said the action became necessary given the charges laid on the company by the FID.